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Stop The Chamber


The Chamber of Commerce, under the leadership of Tom Donohue, has gone from a well respected trade organization to an extremist political organization dedicated to corrupting American democracy by elevating the profits of big corporations over the well being of the citizens they serve. Recent examples of this corrupt behavior is the Chamber's spending of more than $100 million to defeat initiatives to protect the environment and provide affordable health care to everyone, and its massive attacks on democracy through the use of secret money in the 2010 election.

The Chamber is the biggest lobbying operation in the United States, spending billions of dollars on behalf of big business over the past decade to corrupt the political system. Polluters like Big Coal, Big Asbestos, and Big Oil only need call the Chamber to stop any accountability for their toxic destruction. Wall Street banks and CEOs need only make sure that they have paid their Chamber dues to ensure that they can continue to rip off the taxpayers. And killers like Big Tobacco need only form a partnership with the Chamber to ensure that they will be given immunity from lawsuits that seek accountability for the death and sickness of millions of Americans.

Tom Donohue has turned the once respected and even-handed Chamber into an extremist organization, bragging that the Chamber gutted the Clinton tobacco settlement, killed the Clinton health care plan, and scuttled previous oversight of Wall Street and the banking system. Now the Chamber is spending tens of millions on ads and lobbyists to repeal health care for all, protect polluters from accountability, and shield the financial industry from government regulation.

Not only is the Chamber lobbying and advertising against the interests of Americans, it is also committing fraud and violating campaign finance laws by creating fake astroturfing front groups, with patriotic names like Citizens for a Strong Ohio, and then illegally funneling millions of anonymous dollars into those groups to attack candidates and judges who won't do their bidding. It is getting money from foreign sources to send jobs overseas and buy elected officials. While this corrupts the electoral system, the Chamber persists, even when it is caught, fined and required to disclose its "anonymous" donors.

We have had enough and it is time to Stop The Chamber. Therefore, we demand the following:

-Fire Tom Donohue. Mr. Donohue is the Chamber's corrupter in chief who single handedly turned the Chamber into a pay-to-play vehicle for right-wing causes and corporate dishonesty. As Eliot Spitzer put it , "Tom Donohue has never once found a crime that he couldn't justify, as long as it was committed by one of his dues-paying members."

-Launch A Criminal Investigation Against The Chamber For Fraud, False Tax Filings And Campaign Finance Violations. The Chamber was found to have committed fraud and campaign finance violations in Ohio by creating a front group called Citizens for a Strong Ohio and funneling millions of dollars through it to defeat Supreme Court Justice Alice Resnick because she could not be bought. This Chamber practice is widespread and was also used against Karl Rove targeted Mississippi Justice Oliver Diaz, and in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Texas, Louisiana, Michigan, West Virginia, and Arkansas. http://www.citizen.org/pressroom/release.cfm?ID=2062 We have asked the Department of Justice to investigate these illegal practices under RICO and to review whether the Chamber is actually a political action committee rather than a trade association. See our letter to DOJ here.

-Ask Congress To Investigate The Chamber. In addition to a criminal investigation, we want Congress to investigate the activities of the Chamber to include astroturfing and election manipulation as outlined by Public Citizen. http://www.citizen.org/pressroom/release.cfm?ID=2305

Send a letter to Congress here.

-Reorganize The Chamber. The Board of the Chamber should shut down the Chamber's lobbying arm and legal reform arm, and return to being a respected trade organization rather than a partisan PAC.

-Speak Out Against The Chamber. We ask companies, politicians and others that do not agree with the flat earth, anti science, partisan, anti people approach of the Chamber to speak out publicly against the Chamber.  

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